Anheuser-Busch InBev and DS Smith Plastics are winners of the 2018 Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award for innovations that reduced CO2 impact.

AB InBev’s strategy, recognized by the Reusable Packaging Association, included a preventative maintenance program for reusable kegs and a pallet redesign, which consolidated heat treatment and palletization for ready-to-use kegs at one location instead of two. Pallets per load increased 33 percent and C02 impact decreased by 30 percent.

DS Smith designed reusable containers for an auto industry supplier that accommodates multiple components for transport between manufacturing facilities and assembly sites. The transit system helped optimize loads and eliminated more than 300 truck journeys, reducing environmental impact.

The containers, the AkyPak 4You reusable sleeve pack, last about seven years and can be recycled.

“The returnable and sustainable solution that received this recognition is an example of how we work together with customers to bring a different perspective to their challenges and provide cost-effective solutions that protect the environment,” says John C. McCurdy, vice president of commercial development at DS Smith.

For AB InBev, brewer of Budweiser and Corona, innovative processes will be key to reaching its 2025 sustainability goals, says Andrae Kirkland, who manages returnable packing materials for the company’s North American zone. “This process change allowed us to more effectively manage a specific flow for our keg float and has impacted other areas of our supply chain as well.”

The companies will present their submissions in Chicago at PACK EXPO International at 3 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Reusable Packaging Learning Center, Upper Lakeside Center #6866, at McCormick Place.